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Ecotricity Nemesis is British electric supercar set to challenge Tesla

UK-based energy company Ecotricity has taken the wraps off what it says is Britain's first electric supercar, but how does the Nemesis compare to the market-leading Tesla Roadster?

Conventional logic says when it comes to electric cars, the boys and girls at Tesla are the ones to beat, and if you can't beat them, you make like Daimler and Toyota and join them -- by investing a shedload of money.

UK-based company Ecotricity doesn't conform to conventional logic. The government-funded firm has just produced a prototype version of the Nemesis -- a vehicle it claims is Britain's first electrically powered sports car.

If the car looks familiar, that's because it uses the bodywork of a Lotus Exige, modified slightly with an all-new front and rear, as well as the all-important electric gubbins. It's driven by two 125kW electric motors (churning out 330bhp), two two-stage belt-driven reduction transaxle transmissions and a 36kWh lithium polymer cobalt cell battery.

Together, this makes for some startling performance. It'll complete the 0-100mph sprint in 8.5 seconds, go on to a top speed of 170mph, and has a purported range of between 100 and 150 miles per charge depending on your driving style. All of this compares favourably with the Tesla Roadster Sport, which goes 0-100mph in around 12.74 seconds and tops out at a mere 125mph.

These are hugely promising numbers, we're sure you'll agree, but it would appear Ecotricity has some way to go in matching the Tesla Roadster for driveability. The Nemesis broke down on the middle of a roundabout during a test with the Guardian, and appeared to be enormously loud and unrefined during a test with electric car fanatic and Red Dwarf robot Robert Llewellyn.

That said, the Nemesis is still very much in the prototype stage and will almost certainly improve before it goes on sale, hopefully paving the way for a generation of truly British electric supercars that give Tesla a real run for its money.